Local Heroes: Derek Burt nominated

A MAN who saved his partner’s life by performing CPR has been nominated for a Local Hero award.

Derek Burt performed CPR on wife Angela. Picture: Scott Taylor
Derek Burt performed CPR on wife Angela. Picture: Scott Taylor

Derek Burt, from Dalkeith, woke to discover his girlfriend – now his wife – had stopped breathing.

But rather than panic he immediately started trying to resuscitate her using the methods shown in an advert starring ex-footballer Vinnie Jones.

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Were it not for the TV ad – and a fortuitously timed alarm that woke him – Angela would almost certainly have died.

The 999 Hero category is sponsored by BT

Produced by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), it recommended that people hum Stayin’ Alive while pumping the patient’s chest to the beat. Derek, 52, has been nominated in the 999 Hero category sponsored by BT for his courage and quick-thinking.

Angela said: “Derek’s alarm went off and I did half a cough – I didn’t finish it.

“He got up and put the light on and saw that my face was blue, so he got on the floor and started doing CPR.

“He kept doing that 500 times until the ambulance arrived. He saved my life while at the same time trying to keep our grandchildren away from it all.

Fundraiser or volunteer of the year is sponsored by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

“I now have a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted. We then went on to get married.

She added: “If he had gone to work my grandchildren would have found me in bed, dead, and I dread to think how they could have coped.”

Angela, 46, had no history of heart problems before the episode three years ago.

She arrested again after paramedics arrived and was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and received an implantable pacemaker and defibrillator.

When she was discharged from hospital two weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, Mr Burt proposed.

Fundraiser or volunteer of the year, another major category in the Local Hero Award, is sponsored by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS).

Frances Steel, of the SNBTS, said: “Volunteers are an amazing group of people who willingly give their time to support those who need help both personally and professionally.”

Among those in line for an award is Gordon Aikman, of Lochend, who has been nominated by Kezia Dugdale MSP.

Gordon, 30, is dying of Motor Neurone Disease but rather than accepting his fate he has launched a campaign that has already raised £250,000.

Ms Dugdale said: “He’s made loads of progress with his five campaign goals but the fundraising work he’s done is worthy of particular recognition.

“From the ice-bucket challenge to a charity football match, from comedy nights to a reception at No 10, Gordon’s campaign has relentlessly been raising funds.”

Nominated in the same category is Dean Reilly of Dalkeith, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in October 2012.

Since then he has devoted his time to fundraising for the MS Therapy Centre, Lothian, so far raising around £16,000.

Despite lapses from his MS, he has taken part in many challenges including marathons.

How To Nominate

The Local Hero Awards are open to anyone who lives in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Winners will be announced on Friday, June 5 at the Assembly Rooms.

The easiest way to nominate someone is to visit www.localheroaward.co.uk.

This website will allow you to choose which category you wish to enter and tell us all about your nominee.

If you would prefer to enter by post, please send your entry to Edinburgh Evening News, The Local Hero Awards, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh EH4 2HS.

Entries must include your name, address and telephone number. Please make it clear which category you wish to enter your nominee for and explain why you think they deserve to win the award.

The closing date for nominations is Tuesday, May 5.